A minor incident.
A woman, Clare, is sitting in her living room with her laptop on her knee; on the desktop she has two conversations open and is switching between them.
King Snake: So, what have you been up to today, mate, anything interesting?
Clare Bear: Frustrated to hell, only come on here to let off some steam. Was supposed to be working on a writing challenge but I’ve failed, can’t come up with a thing.
King Snake: Sounds interesting, what was the challenge?
Clare Bear: It was very simple really. I had to take an event from today, no mater how small and write something around it. Easy eh? The problem is that it’s been one of those days where absolutely nothing has happened. Not a sodding thing.
King Snake: Ah, bummer. But you never know the day’s not over yet, it’s only eleven fifteen, you still have three quarters of an hour to come up with something. And anyway your day can’t be as bad as mine. I’m stuck in on a Saturday night. All my mates are out on the town and I couldn’t go because I had no coin.
Clare looks up at the clock on the wall. It is a large clock. The time clearly reads eleven fifteen. She pulls a face and turns her attention back to the computer. Ignoring King Snake’s message she clicks on a second flashing box and reads a message from Hot Date.
Hot Date: Hey! How are you?
Clare Bear: Good ta… you?
Hot Date: No, fed up tonight, my parents have gone away for the weekend so I’m left in the house all on my own.
Clare Bear: And that’s something to be sad about? Hell I thought that was every teenager’s dream. Why aren’t you cracking open a riotous house party?
Hot Date: Lol, we’re not all stereotypical yobs you know.
Clare clicks back onto King Snake’s box.
Clare Bear: Lol, we’re both in a similar position then, sitting at home with nothing to do and absolutely nothing happening. I’m just talking to Hot Date, he’s on his own too tonight, shall I bring him in and see if we can at least buck ourselves up with conversation?
King Snake: Yeah, no problem, the more the merrier.
Clare clicks on the box to invite Hot date into a three way conversation. A couple of seconds later his tag appears in King Snake’s box. Clare closes down Hot date’s conversation box on her desktop.
King Snake: Hiya Hot, how’s it going?
Hot Date: Hi King, nice to meet you.
Clare: That’s better all that switching and swapping between the two of you was making me dizzy and it was only a matter of time before I got the messages mixed up. Hi again Hottie. King, Hot’s on his own tonight, parents have jumped ship and left him with a big old empty house. I think we should gatecrash his and have a party.
King Snake: Too late, I’ve just cracked my third can of lager, no chance of me driving anywhere now. And anyway haven’t you got a writing assignment to get on with?
Hot Date: What’re you writing Claire?
Clare Bear: I was supposed to be working on a challenge, the idea was to take an event from today and build a story from it but it’s too late now. I did consider writing about the fact that I got the leccy bill this morning, that’s about the most exciting thing that’s happened all day.
Hot Date: I’ve got to write a thesis for uni?
Clare Bear: Sounds heavy, what’s that about?
King Snake: FUCK ME!
(Immediately after King Snake’s Message)
Hot Date: Oh my God.
Clare Bear: (replying to King) No thanks; I don’t think my husband would be very pleased J
King Snake: No messing guys, my whole fucking house has just shook. I think that fucking boat’s just gone up.
(Immidiately after King Snake’s message)
Hot Date: Jesus, my house is shaking. The cups are rattling and the dog’s howling. I don’t know what’s going on.
King Snake: You felt it? You felt it too man? Fuck, my hearts pounding. Where are you? It’s been some major fucking explosion or something.
Clare Bear: What’s going on, this is freaky. I never felt a thing.
Hot Date: I’m in Liverpool Mate. Where are you?
King Snake: Grimsby, miles away from you. What the fuck was it?
Clare Bear: It can’t be an explosion surely, you’re miles apart. Whatever it was it never hit Barrow.
Hot Date: I tell you it was scary, the whole house shook and everything was moving.
King Snake: tell me about it, my heart’s still fucking pounding. I thought it was a boat blowing up. I’m pretty close to the docks but it can’t be that if you felt it in Liverpool, mate.
Clare Bear: has it stopped now? What’s going on guys? Are you both okay now?
Hot Date: maybe it’s an earthquake King, it felt as though it was coming from the bottom up.
King Snake: Man, lights have gone on all up and down the street. Dogs are barking the place is going crazy.
Hot Date: My dog’s still shaking. She won’t leave me alone. I’ll see if there’s anything on the news about what’s going down.
King Snake: Hey Clare are you still there? Did you feel anything?
Clare Bear: Nope not a thing. Lol, if your world caves in like an Easter egg and you guys need shelter, whatever it was didn’t get as far as this back of beyond. Maybe it’s an alien invasion or the forerunner of the end of the world. Whatever it is, it’s giving here a miss.
Hot Date: Crikey it’s all over the news, an earthquake that’s spread across the entire country. They’re estimating that it’s the biggest one ever to hit England. And you said you had nothing to write about today Clare.
King Snake: I think we’ve lost her mate, she’s not replying.
Clare: I’m still here. Nothing showing on the news Hot, which channel?
King Snake: Yep, just looking at it no live coverage yet just flashes coming through to the news desk. Sounds big though.
Clare: There’s nothing showing on the news here, what are you watching Guys?
Hot Date: yep, it looks as though we’ve lost Clare Bare.
King Snake: yeah haven’t heard form her since before the quake. Guess the electrical interference took out her connection. Jesus my heart’s still beating like a fucking drum.
Clare Bear: I’m still here you two.
Clare Bear: can you see me now?
Clare Bear: Bloody computers.
One week later. A man, King Snake, is sitting at his computer. A message box flashes up. The name reads Hot Date.
Hot Date: Hey King snake, hope you don’t mind mate, I added you. Feel as though we’re kind of linked in all this. I take it you’ve heard about Clare?
King Snake: Oh yeah, I remember you, last week, Clare’s mate. Nope haven’t heard a word from her. Sent her a couple of emails but nothing back. Why wazzup?
Hot Date: She’s dead mate. Killed in the earthquake, epicentre was right on her town apparently. I got a call from her brother, said the bastard took her house out, literally reduced it to rubble. At least he said that she was killed outright. She wouldn’t have felt anything. Her funeral is on Wednesday at two. Just think we were actually talking to her when she died, man. I can’t believe it. She never did get her story written.
King Snake: Fuck!